Historically, Waukegan Road and Dempster Street have been the Village's most active and successful shopping districts. Without a traditional downtown, these streets have provided the Village's residents as well as regional shoppers with a wide variety of goods and services. However, limited parking, difficult access, deteriorating physical conditions, and increasing competition from area shopping centers are affecting those corridors.
In order to address these problems, the Village hired the Lakota Group to assess the corridors’ land use, real estate market, parking, traffic, streetscape conditions, and overall redevelopment potential.
Waukegan Road Commercial Corridor Plan
With the assistance of Village staff, the consultant team, local businesses, property owners, and local brokers/vendors, a Master Plan was submitted to the Village in November of 1997. Engineering for the enhancements to this Commercial Corridor was completed on 1999. These enhancements received Illinois Department of Transportation approval and were bid for construction in 2000. Construction of improvements, including a bi-directional turn lane, new sidewalks, street furniture, streetlights, and gateway treatments, was completed in 2001.
Dempster Street Commercial Corridor Plan
A similar planning effort for Dempster Street began in May 2000. During the Village’s Comprehensive Plan update process, Dempster Street between Central Avenue and the Metra-Milwaukee District north line right-of-way was identified as a sub-area that required significant improvement to support commercial activities and enhance the overall image of the Village. Due to the success of the Waukegan Road Commercial Corridor Study, Village officials retained the services of the same design team of McDonough Associates, Inc., and Lakota Group, Inc. to address parking, traffic, streetscape, and land use considerations for Dempster. The Village Board approved the Master Plan, based on input from public officials, residents, staff, the Dempster Street Corridor Planning Committee, and the Illinois Department of Transportation, in August 2001. The Village currently is seeking funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation and other sources to help fund future improvements to this corridor.
The Dempster Street Commercial Corridor Master Plan is available for downloading in a pdf format by clicking here.